Commuting to Midtown Manhattan on the New York City Subway almost every weekday is more often than not a headache — thanks to things like train traffic, delays and signal problems. Although, those issues are a little easier to endure than say, a train catching fire, which commuters in Boston experienced on their commute to work on Thursday.
NBC 10 Boston reports that just before 7 a.m., a fire began spreading on the lead car of an Orange Line subway train heading towards the city. This particular train of the Massachusetts Bay Transportation Authority (MBTA) Subway, usually referred to simply as the T, was crossing a bridge over the Mystic River when a portion of the car behind the driver became engulfed in flames. As the car filled with black smoke, passengers did whatever they could to escape, including climbing out through the windows. One woman jumped off the bridge into the river and refused assistance from responding fire department personnel while in the water.
According to the MBTA, the fire was sparked by a metal piece of siding coming loose from the train and hitting the electrified third rail. The MBTA shut down power on the portion of track where the train was burning so emergency responders could safely reach stranded passengers.
Boston Mayor Michelle Wu said in a statement:
“Today’s incident on the Orange Line is more evidence of an aging transit system in crisis. A broken MBTA threatens the safety of our community and the future of our city and region. I’ll be reaching out to my colleagues across the region to more aggressively partner with state on rapid systemwide upgrades. The City of Boston must do more to help the state lead this transformation and we are ready to prioritize this work.”
Earlier this week, the MBTA General Manager asked for $300 million in funding to address the safety issues identified by the Federal Transit Administration.